Deep Leaf Cover and Hints of Snow!

The High Water Trail
Don't you just love fall! The woods are full of that wonderful deep fall smell that just makes you think of warm fires and hot cocoa!  This week my boys and I tackled a section of the High Water Trail over in Evans Notch.  We went in from Wild River Campground, crossed over at Moriah Brook and hiked up to the intersection of Wild River Trail, crossed the river and returned via the Wild River Trail.  We found a HUGE patch of Checkerberries which we each enjoyed a handful of even though they were a bit past season!  And we honed in on our trail finding skills! 

Right now we have enough leaves down that in the deeper woods the coverage on the trail is fairly thick and on the lesser used trails it makes trail finding quite the project.  Keep this in mind as you plan your hikes and excursions.  If you are not comfortable with trail finding, make sure you choose well used trails with good blazing.  You may wish to stay out of the Wilderness areas where trails are not as developed and blazing is not as widespread.  On the other hand if you do enjoy the challenge, carry your map, compass, and whistle, be prepared just in case you need to spend a night in the woods and then…ENJOY THE CHALLENGE!

On our hike we didn’t get lost at all however there were a number of places where you couldn’t see where the trail went until you were right on top of it and we had all of our sensors on high input!  
The river crossing that is where Spider Bridge used to be is not horrendous.  My two tall and stable boys rock hopped it with no issues.  I, shorter and not as stable, forded about 6 feet of it and probably could have done it in my boots except I couldn’t tell how slippery the rocks just under the water were.  The river is beautiful and well worth enjoying.  At this time of year go out for the solitude.  In the summer…go out for the swimming!

The Wild River Trail on the return brought back more memories of Hurricane Irene!  The majority of the trail is now a ditch up to 4 feet deep strewn with rocks!  One section of the trail was actually washed out and has been reloed.  Other than that it is still easy to follow as it still follows the straight ahead path of an old rail road bed!  More awesome swimming holes for the summer time were passed!  If interested in this hike, you will want to look at AMC Map 5 for Carter Range-Evans Notch.
Can you find the trail here?

Well I suggested ice was coming last week and today it looks like it's here!  We currently have 1.6 inches of snow on top of Mt. Washington with rime ice.  Yesterday we received reports of icing on both the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail and the Lion's Head AND the snow was covering over the ice!  There is still some daytime melting going on so your best bet is to recheck conditions on the morning of your hike and then still be prepared for multiple scenarios.  If you own light traction devices such as Microspikes, I would at the LEAST place them in your trunks before you come!  You may not need them, but if you do you’d be much happier to have them than to not!  If you don’t own them, we do sell them both here and at the Highland Center.  You can probably also find them at your local retailer.  And of course if you are staying at either of our Lodes (Joe Dodge, Highland) you are welcome to participate in our complimentary demonstration program with Hillsound Light Traction!

In that same vein, be prepared for winter conditions on the high peaks at this point…not mountaineering by any standards but ice, snow, cold and sometimes very high winds are going to add a layer on top of the always existent challenges up there!  We are not summer hiking any longer!   Flexibility is the key!  No reason not to go but always be prepared to turn around…the mountain will still be there on another day and if you turn around, so will you!
For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk.  We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.

Happy Hiking!

Joyce S.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116 

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